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Helicopters find no signs of Benjamin

SELMA — You can hear the frustration laced with hope in the voices of those who continue to search for Tarasha Benjamin.

“We’re continuing to look everywhere we can and pass out leaflets to everyone,” said Angela Benjamin, Selma City Council member and a relative of the missing 17-year-old.

On the Fourth of July, helicopters and police searched over in the Selmont area. Selma police Detective Michael Harris said no sighting was discovered, and the helicopters were just part of the search.

“We’re looking. We’re pulling in more resources,” Harris said. “We working with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.”

Groups of friends, family, and acquaintances divided up the area and went out in search of the teenager, who said she was going to a flea market more than a week ago, but never returned home.

Angela Benjamin said the family has raised $1,000 reward money for any person or people who provide legitimate information that leads to Tarasha’s whereabouts.

“If any citizens want to add to that to raise the amount, they can,” she said. “We’re working on getting some place they can deposit to.”

The family has requested all efforts to collect food, water, notepads, money or other items come through the family and not through third parties. Benjamin said the family has divided up the effort to find Tarasha into different categories and each category has a captain.

“This keeps everything organized and nobody goes out doing anything without it being approved,” Benjamin said.

The drop-off site is 1029 Dawson Ave.

“It is the only address receiving donated items like food, water, Gatorade, ice, coolers, etc.,” she said. “No other address is approved by the family. We have gotten word there are random folks designating their addresses. Shame on them!”